Kindness is great medicine
Young David came to Sally’s House after his sister turned their adoptive parents in for child abuse. Not only were the parent’s withholding food for days at a time and going overboard with spankings as punishment, but this 10-year-old boy was regularly called derogatory names and slurs for not being masculine enough.
David was shaking with fear when the police brought him to Sally’s House. It appears their adopted parents had told the siblings that they would be human trafficked if they ever entered the foster care system.
The staff at Sally’s House was very careful to be warm and inviting while giving David the space he needed to feel safe. Once he settled in, David opened up to staff and his social worker about the horrible things he had experienced at home. This information was passed on so that David could be enrolled in counseling.
He was given nutritional supplements in addition to three fresh meals and several snacks a day. David hid food in his pockets for the first 30 days he was at Sally’s House. When cleaning out his cubby each night and making his bed each morning, staff found food that David had hidden under his pillow, tucked inside folded clothes, and under stuffed animals.
David would often wear two sets of pajamas as he was used to his blankets being pulled away when he was in trouble. Caring for David’s daily needs took a lot of patience and time. Thankfully, Sally’s House staff had already received training on caring for children who had experienced trauma. This training was paid for by community donations.
The Spokane community has been a champion of children in the foster care system; allowing Sally’s House to serve hurting children when they need it most. Sally’s House is the only emergency foster care placement program in Eastern Washington for children, ages 2-12, who have been abused, abandoned, neglected, or found in a home with criminal activity.
David remained at Sally’s House for more than five months while a suitable long-term loving home was found. Staff made sure that every day was filled with intentional nurturing and empowering for this young man. He was tutored, taught life skills, read to, sung to, and praised. David was encouraged and rewarded for making positive choices and told numerous times that he had worth.
After the first 30 days at Sally’s House, David quit hiding food. Following the first month and a half, he began to only wear one set of pajamas. Then after his fourth month at Sally’s House. David told his social worker that he wanted to stay at Sally’s House forever because “they really know what’s good for kids.”
David eventually gained the weight his body needed, as well as the confidence his heart required while at Sally’s House.
Like so many children in our community, David’s story went from heartbreak to healing because of something called ‘kindness.’ It’s amazing what ‘kindness’ can do for someone’s soul.
To help other children like David, please consider giving a tax-deductible financial gift to Sally’s House. For more info, or to donate, please visit www.makingspokanebetter.org, and click on ‘Donate To This Community.’